94% of holiday accommodations made ‘positive change’ amid Covid, report finds

Some 86% of holiday accommodation owners are said to have invested in their business during the pandemic, with 94% making “long-lasting, positive change”, according to new research from building society The Cumberland.

The group said that despite plans to relax foreign travel, the findings suggest there is “still caution” amongst UK holidaymakers, with 84% opting to holiday in the UK this summer.

The research found that 38% of hotels and 32% of cottages were the most popular types of accommodation, followed by bed and breakfast accommodation (24%).

Covid-19 compliance and cleanliness was also found to still be the “dominating their choice” of accommodation providers, with 69% saying they would be willing to pay more for hotels, B&Bs and holiday lets offering these additional services.

Some 38% of respondents said they would pay more for a property which has a Covid-19 deep cleaning service, while 31% would pay more for a property with clear instructions on its Covid-19 guidance.

Perhaps alluding to the increase in lockdown puppies, 16% of Brits say they would pay more if their accommodation was dog-friendly.

The findings from this national survey suggest that when it comes to destinations, Cornwall is the favourite UK destination (17%) with the Lake District proving as popular as Devon (14% each), followed closely by the Scotland (13%), Wales (11%) and East Anglia (9%). However, 32% of consumers indicated they are not planning a holiday this year.

Commissioned by The Cumberland, which has a long-established hospitality lending team, the survey of 1,021 UK adults and 233 UK accommodation owner/managers also highlighted that four-fifths of holiday accommodation owners questioned (80%) said that they had been spending money on being compliant with COVID-19 guidelines, while 71% have been improving their property or services.

Scott McKerracher, head of Commercial at The Cumberland, said: “This dual research amongst consumers and UK holiday accommodation owners provides really important insights into the opportunities and challenges currently faced by the British hospitality industry, as it navigates its way out of the pandemic and into the ‘new normal’.

“With mortgage customers across the UK hospitality industry, including hotels, B&Bs and holiday let owners, we understand how optimism within the market can show a clear way forward for this sector.”

He added: “It is very clear from our consumer research that a UK holiday is by far and away the main choice for British consumers this summer and it seems that many UK accommodation owners have decided to invest in their businesses not only for the short term but also to make long lasting, positive change.  This can only bode well for the sector going forward, as consumer confidence rises to match.”

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